Singapore—In an exclusive interview for South China Morning Post (SCMP), Kane Lim, the only Singaporean on the Netflix hit Bling Empire, talked what he loves about the country, including food, safety, and the mix of people.
However, he told SCMP that one of the biggest things that people get wrong is thinking that everyone in Singapore is rich.
Mr Lim also acknowledged that if it had not been for the runaway success of Crazy Rich Asians, the recent reality show may never have gotten made.
The world’s interest in the lives of the uber-wealthy in Asia was certainly piqued by the blockbuster 2018 film, written by Singaporean-American Kevin Kwan and set in Singapore.
Bling Empire, which debuted on Netflix on Jan 12, has won many fans as well, although it’s been met with criticism of being insensitive for flaunting the lives of the very rich when the Covid-19 pandemic has taken an economic toll on millions of people.
Furthermore, the show has yet to be renewed for a second season.
But the cast members have become darlings of the media of late, with their profiles and interviews, complete with a reveal of their net worth, featured in many publications.
Mr Lim, who can be seen eating his favorite kaya toast on the show, is no exception. Last week he was interviewed on the Ellen show. Moreover, he now has over 407,000 followers on social media.
In his recent SCMP interview, he talked about how Crazy Rich Asians was a forerunner for Bling Empire, although when the blockbuster movie premiered he was reluctant to see it.
“When my friends first invited me to the premiere, I was like, ‘I’m not going. I don’t want to watch a crazy rich show.’
I just thought that the connotations of being rich can come off as very negative, obnoxious, rude, and in your face.”
He also ended up being delighted at how the film depicted Singapore.
“I know some of the cast members. It highlighted Singapore so well; it put my country on the map. I’m so proud of the film and its success.”
Like many Singaporeans, he speaks well of the country’s multiculturalism.
“Singapore represents a multicultural, all-embracing, melting pot of people. I grew up with Indians, Malays, Chinese, Caucasians, African-Americans. I really appreciate that upbringing. The country is also really accepting in terms of religion.”
Another thing he’s appreciative of is how safe Singapore’s streets are, telling SCMP that he can walk around any time and never be afraid of getting robbed.
But Mr Lim sought to correct the misconception that everyone in Singapore is wealthy.
“A lot of the population are not doing well, especially during Covid, and that’s why I think we should do our part to help. I always advocate charity on my Instagram and social media. My parents have always been advocates for non-profits, and we support one that helps a thousand patients a day for free medical needs.”
His most recent Instagram post on Monday, Feb 8, had the heading, “The Real Bling Is Giving.”
In it, he chose to highlight healthcare workers as “the ones that truly bling.”
He dedicated the post to the more than 80 healthcare workers at Kaiser Hospital in Los Angeles. One doctor from the hospital had reached out to Mr Lim to help show appreciation for healthcare workers, and Mr Lim rallied his Bling Empire castmates to pay the health workers a visit and give gifts.
“Our healthcare workers are the ones that truly bling…This post is dedicated to all the healthcare workers out there, thank you for your work and dedication.”
Mr Lim and other donors put together goody bags for the healthcare workers, including hair and skincare products, teas, dim sum and mapo tofu food boxes, face masks, and others.
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